Data is the lifeblood of the information age. If I told you that backing up data is one of the most important things you can do for your data, you’d probably nod in agreement.
It gets observed, collected, organized, and analyzed, and it allows businesses to compete for profit and prosperity. And it takes many forms, each one unique and often vividly-named by the addition of a simple descriptive word.
One simple adjective like “dirty” may give you pause, and there’s a handful of other terms about “data” that you may not recognize either. Here is a short glossary of new data buzzwords and how they might impact your business.
If “big data” is about powerful machines, huge databases, and sophisticated analytics, its little brother “small data” is about people. Small data takes a scaled-down approach to data mining that relies on things like social media to acquire important information. Archiving it is also simpler since a complex central data warehouse isn’t necessary.
The notion of “slow data” may seem a bit counterintuitive since processing ones and zeroes means things are happening fast. Some information, however, is actually acquired more slowly. Take, for example, the polar ice caps, where things literally move at a glacial pace. Since this kind of data doesn’t require frequent analysis it is suitable for back-up in its native format in a secure data lake.
We’re guessing you knew this buzzword was coming next, and it’s probably exactly what you thought it would be. “Fast data” refers to data events that happen fast – as in thousands of times per second – such as financial tickers or electrical sensors. Being able to act on it without delay is critical, so storing it immediately in a stable, easy to access location is a must.
Put simply, “dark data” is nothing more than day-to-day operational data that’s not getting used. It often refers to unanalyzed information in the form of customer call records, competitors’ price fluctuations, or website visitor trends. It can also include data that’s no longer accessible, such as when a storage device becomes obsolete. Your business can bring some of this redundant, out-of-date, or hidden data into the light with software designed to tidy things up.
And speaking of tidying, here we finally have “dirty data.” While not quite as provocative as, say, dirty dancing or a dirty martini, it does have a tendency to arouse anxiety. But it’s actually not harmful to your data warehouse; it merely refers to a dataset prior to its being “cleaned,” such as a leads list that contains duplicates, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, incomplete or outdated data, or formatting errors.
Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs and is the partner your company needs to take full advantage of everything that Cloud Computing has to offer.Connect with him at 604.270.1730.